20070608_DaleHarrington.jpg

MOCCA Hosts Creative Art Gems

Painting can really stress me out. Yesterday, after an hour of studio time, I was fuming mad. Luckily I headed down to MOCCA afterwards, to Creative Art Gems 2007 - a silent charity auction for the Creative Works Studio.

Painting seems to have helped calm members of this studio down. The Creative Works Studio is "an outreach program whose mandate is to provide an oasis from the daily rigors and challenges of life for people living with mental illness and addiction". The auction featured donated celebrity works. Olivia Chow, Daniel Liebskind, Cynthia Dale (of Street Legal fame) and my neighbor Rex Harrington all hung their work alongside paintings by the studio members themselves. This exhibition and the creative work that went into it, seems to have lifted a lot of people up and given them a boost of much needed self-confidence. During an accompanying presentation, the studio's founder, Isabel Fryszberg spoke of the fulfillment she receives from watching new studio members explore their creative abilities - sometimes for the first time. "Before I started the program just a year ago I could hardly get out of bed. Now I have a bright studio to go to and I am finding time spent at the Creative Works Studio worthwhile", says Kate - a Creative Studio member. Well . . . if it works for them, maybe I should give this painting thing another shot.

*The painting on the left is Cynthia Dale's. The one on the right is Rex Harrington's.


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